Dortmund Squad Numbers: #8
Welcome back to the newest edition of BVB Squad numbers. In this edition, we’ll be looking at a number which is usually associated with players dominating the midfield either technically or physically, or a combination of both, the #8 jersey. The #8 jersey has been donned by some of the most dynamic midfielders and players who have constantly changed the way midfield generals are looked upon. These are few of the most dynamic players who played in the #8 jersey for Die Schwarzgelben.
The current Sporting Director of the Ruhr Club was born in Dortmund and has been associated with the club since 1978. Nicknamed Susi because of his long hair, he played for 17 seasons from 1981 to 1998, amassing a total of 581 games scoring 161 goals from all over the midfield. He holds many records for BVB, the most significant ones being the record for making most appearances and the second one of being the all-time top scorer for the club. His most successful stint was at the waning end of his career, winning the Bundesliga twice and even lifting the UEFA Champions League in 1997 along with the Intercontinental Cup in the same year. He has been the Sporting Director immediately after his retirement and was one of the key figures in helping the club revive itself from financial mismanagement. His stint as a sporting director has been more successful as the club has won 3 Bundesliga titles as well as two DFB Pokal’s. He is also known for his shrewd deals in the transfer market and is considered one of the best spotters of talent in Europe.
Frings, the current SV Darmstadt 98 manager, and Werder Bremen hero had a two-year tenure at Westfalenstadion from 2002 to 2004. Though he had a short spell at the club, with his second season only beginning in January 2004 due to a knee injury and had a barren spell in terms of trophies in his stay. But he deserves a spot on this list due to his laurels at other clubs which earned him a highly respectable 79 caps for the national team. He was always a regular in the first team when fit and was an all-action and well-rounded midfielder known for his box to box play. He was highly regarded for his work-rate, vision, ambidexterity, tough tackling and his vocal & leadership presence on the pitch.
Gundogan, arguably one of the most talented midfielders to ever play for Borussia Dortmund joined the club from 1. FC Nurnberg in 2011 and became a very important player in the 2012-13 season, even scoring the only goal for BVB in the UEFA Champions League final in 2013. He made 157 appearances over the course of 5 years but he suffered a severe back injury on international duty in August 2013 which eventually kept him out for a full year, significantly weakening Der BVB in their hunt for the league. A polished midfielder, who was known for his vision, passing and solid defensive attributes, he was also praised by former manager Jurgen Klopp for his willingness to learn and great attitude, which helped him recover from his injury.
Sahin, a full Turkish international, joined Dortmund in 2001 at the tender age of 13, made his first team debut in 2005 at the age of 16 years and 334 days, making him the youngest player to have ever appeared in the Bundesliga and even holds the record for the youngest ever player to score a goal in the Bundesliga when scored against Nurnberg in November of the same year. Sahin who has made 249 appearances for his boyhood club in two different spells, is a strong fan favourite and has seen his career dramatically cut down due to injuries in the last 2 years at Dortmund, has only won a single Bundesliga and a DFB Pokal a couple of months back and still has the chance to win more silverware as he extended his contract till 2019, adding valuable experience to a side which is full of promising youngsters.
Out of the four players in this list, two are still associated with the club in different roles but all have elevated the #8 jersey at the club and whoever picks up the mantle from Nuri Sahin, has a very big legacy to live up to.